Great cormorant

The great cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo), known as the great black cormorant across the Northern Hemisphere, the black cormorant in Australia, the large cormorant in India and the black shag further south in New Zealand, is a widespread member of the cormorant family of seabirds.[2] The genus name is Latinised Ancient Greek, from φαλακρός (phalakros, "bald") and κόραξ (korax, "raven"), and carbo is Latin for "charcoal".[3]

It breeds in much of the Old World and the Atlantic coast of North America.

Great cormorant
Phalacrocorax carbo Vic
In Victoria, Australia.
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Suliformes
Family: Phalacrocoracidae
Genus: Phalacrocorax
P. carbo
Binomial name
Phalacrocorax carbo
Great Cormorant Range
Global map of eBird reports of the great cormorant     Year-Round Range     Summer Range     Winter Range

Pelecanus carbo Linnaeus, 1758

Adult great cormorant in breeding plumage. Texel, Netherlands (2010)

Taxonomy and etymology

The 80–100 cm (31–39 in) long white-breasted cormorant P. c. lucidus found in sub-Saharan Africa, has a white neck and breast. It is often treated as a full species, Phalacrocorax lucidus (e.g. Sibley & Monroe 1990, Sinclair, Hockey & Tarboton 2002).

In addition to the Australasian and African forms, Phalacrocorax carbo novaehollandiae and P. c. lucidus mentioned above, other geographically distinct subspecies are recognised, including P. c. sinensis (western Europe to east Asia), P. c. maroccanus (north-western Africa), and P. c. hanedae (Japan).

Some authors treat all these as allospecies of a P. carbo superspecies group.

In New Zealand, the subspecies P. c. novaehollandiae is known as the black shag or by its Māori name; "kawau".[4] The syntype is in the collection of the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.[5]


The great cormorant is a large black bird, but there is a wide variation in size in the species' wide range. Weight is reported to vary from 1.5 kg (3.3 lb)[6] to 5.3 kg (12 lb).[7] Males are typically larger and heavier than females, with the nominate race (P. c. carbo) averaging about 10% larger in linear measurements than the smallest race in Europe (P. c. sinensis).[8] The lightest average weights cited are in Germany (P. c. sinensis), where 36 males averaged 2.28 kg (5.0 lb) and 17 females averaged 1.94 kg (4.3 lb).[9] The highest come from Prince Edward Island in Canada (P. c. carbo), where 11 males averaged 3.68 kg (8.1 lb) and 11 females averaged 2.94 kg (6.5 lb).[10][11] Length can vary from 70 to 102 cm (28 to 40 in) and wingspan from 121 to 160 cm (48 to 63 in).[11][12] They are tied as the second largest extant species of cormorant after the flightless cormorant, with the Japanese cormorant averaging at a similar size. In bulk if not in linear dimensions, the Blue-eyed shag species complex of the Southern Oceans are scarcely smaller at average.[9] It has a longish tail and yellow throat-patch. Adults have white patches on the thighs and on the throat in the breeding season. In European waters it can be distinguished from the common shag by its larger size, heavier build, thicker bill, lack of a crest and plumage without any green tinge. In eastern North America, it is similarly larger and bulkier than double-crested cormorant, and the latter species has more yellow on the throat and bill and lack the white thigh patches frequently seen on great cormorants. Great cormorants are mostly silent, but they make various guttural noises at their breeding colonies.

Phalacrocorax Carbo Albino 2
Albino in Lake Kerkini, Greece


A very rare variation of the great cormorant is caused by albinism. The Phalacrocorax carbo albino suffers from poor eyesight and/or hearing, thus it rarely manages to survive in the wild.


This is a very common and widespread bird species. It feeds on the sea, in estuaries, and on freshwater lakes and rivers. Northern birds migrate south and winter along any coast that is well-supplied with fish.

In Serbia, the cormorant lives in Vojvodina. However, after 1945 many artificial lakes were formed in Serbia; some of them became potential habitats for cormorants. Currently, on the Lake Ćelije, formed in 1980, there is a resident colony of cormorants, who nest there and are present throughout the year, except January–February 1985 and February 2012 when the lake surface was completely frozen.

The type subspecies, P. c. carbo, is found mainly in Atlantic waters and nearby inland areas: on western European coasts and south to North Africa, the Faroe Islands, Iceland and Greenland; and on the eastern seaboard of North America, though in America it breeds only in the north of its range, in the Canadian maritime provinces. The subspecies P. c. novaehollandiae is found in Australian waters.[4]


Phalacrocorax carbo MWNH 0534
Egg, Collection Museum Wiesbaden
Great Cormorant 0010 - swallowing eel - East Potomac Park - 2013-08-25
Cormorant swallowing a just caught eel
Greater cormorant in Action 02
Great cormorant with bronze featherback from Keoladeo Ghana National park, Bharatpur
Greater cormorant in Action 01
Great cormorant trying to swallow bronze featherback. from Keoladeo Ghana National park, Bharatpur


The great cormorant often nests in colonies near wetlands, rivers, and sheltered inshore waters. Pairs will use the same nest site to breed year after year. It builds its nest, which is made from sticks, in trees, on the ledges of cliffs, and on the ground on rocky islands that are free of predators.[13]

This cormorant lays a clutch of three to five eggs that measure 63 by 41 millimetres (2.5 by 1.6 in) on average. The eggs are a pale blue or green, and sometimes have a white chalky layer covering them. These eggs are incubated for a period of about 28 to 31 days.[13]


The great cormorant feeds on fish caught through diving.[13] This bird feeds primarily on wrasses, but it also takes sand smelt, flathead and common soles.[14] The average weight of fish taken by great cormorants increased with decreasing air and water temperature, being 30 g during summer, 109 g during a warm winter and 157 g during the cold winter (all values for non-breeding birds). Cormorants consume all fish of appropriate size that they are able to catch in summer and noticeably select for larger, mostly torpedo-shaped fish in winter. Thus, the winter elevation of foraging efficiency described for cormorants by various researchers is due to capturing larger fish not due to capturing more fish.[15] In some freshwater systems, the losses of fish due to overwintering great cormorants were estimated to be up to 80 kg per ha each year (e.g. Vltava River, Czech Republic).[16]

This cormorant forages by diving and capturing its prey in its beak.[13] The duration of its dives is around 28 seconds, with the bird diving to depths of about 5.8 metres (19 ft). About 60% of dives are to the benthic zone and about 10% are to the pelagic zone, with the rest of the dives being to zones in between the two.[14]

Relationships with humans

Many fishermen see in the great cormorant a competitor for fish. Because of this, it was hunted nearly to extinction in the past. Thanks to conservation efforts, its numbers increased. At the moment, there are about 1.2 million birds in Europe (based on winter counts; late summer counts would show higher numbers).[17] Increasing populations have once again brought the cormorant into conflict with fisheries.[18][19] For example, in Britain, where inland breeding was once uncommon, there are now increasing numbers of birds breeding inland, and many inland fish farms and fisheries now claim to be suffering high losses due to these birds. In the UK each year, some licences are issued to cull specified numbers of cormorants in order to help reduce predation; it is, however, still illegal to kill a bird without such a licence.

Cormorant fishing is practised in China, Japan, and elsewhere around the globe. In it, fishermen tie a line around the throats of cormorants, tight enough to prevent swallowing the larger fish they catch, and deploy them from small boats. The cormorants catch fish without being able to fully swallow them, and the fishermen are able to retrieve the fish simply by forcing open the cormorants' mouths, apparently engaging the regurgitation reflex.

In Norway, cormorant is a traditional game bird. Each year c. 10,000 cormorants are shot to be eaten.[20] In North Norway, cormorants are traditionally seen as semi-sacred. It is regarded as good luck to have cormorants gather near your village or settlement. An old legend states that people who die far out at sea, their bodies never recovered, spend eternity on the island Utrøst – which can only occasionally be found by mortals. The inhabitants of Utrøst can only visit their homes in the shape of cormorants.

Great cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo) immature

immature, Kazinga Channel, Uganda

Storskarv - Kranium - Phalacrocorax carbo


Lithuania Juodkrante Great Cormorant colony 1

Colony in Juodkrantė, Lithuania, and damage to the trees in which they are nesting

Aalscholver Phalacrocorax carbo Jos Zwarts 2

Drawing by Jos Zwarts

Kormorane in lake Vistonis

In lake Vistonis, Greece


Resting on a post in a port in Den Oever, the Netherlands

Stretching wings while sitting on a pole

Great cormorant hunting in Odessa


  1. ^ BirdLife International (2012). "Phalacrocorax carbo". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
  2. ^ Ali, S. (1993). The Book of Indian Birds. Bombay: Bombay Natural History Society. ISBN 978-0-19-563731-1.
  3. ^ Jobling, James A (2010). The Helm Dictionary of Scientific Bird Names. London: Christopher Helm. pp. 90, 301. ISBN 978-1-4081-2501-4.
  4. ^ a b Heather, Barrie; Robertson, Hugh (2005). The Field guide to the Birds of New Zealand (revised ed.). Viking. ISBN 978-0143020400.
  5. ^ "Phalacrocorax carbo novaehollandiae; syntype". Collections Online. Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa. Retrieved 18 July 2010.
  6. ^ Ribak, Gal; Weihs, Daniel; Arad, Zeev (2005). "Water retention in the plumage of diving great cormorants Phalacrocorax carbo sinensis". Journal of Avian Biology. 36 (2): 89. doi:10.1111/j.0908-8857.2005.03499.x.
  7. ^ "Cormorant". The Canadian Encyclopedia. Retrieved 21 August 2012.
  8. ^ Koffijberg, K.; Van Eerden, M.R. (1995). "Sexual dimorphism in the cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo sinensis: possible implications for differences in structural size" (PDF). Ardea. 83: 37–46.
  9. ^ a b Dunning Jr., John B., ed. (1992). CRC Handbook of Avian Body Masses. CRC Press. ISBN 978-0-8493-4258-5.
  10. ^ Hogan, G. (1979). Breeding parameters of Great Cormorants (Phalacrocorax carbo) at mixed species colonies on Prince Edward Island, Canada (Master's Thesis). St. Catharines, ON: Brock University. hdl:10464/1789.
  11. ^ a b Hatch, Jeremy J.; Brown, Kevin M.; Hogan, Geoffrey G.; Morris, Ralph D. (2000). Poole, A. (ed.). "Great Cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo)". The Birds of North America Online. Ithaca: Cornell Lab of Ornithology. doi:10.2173/bna.553.
  12. ^ Stevenson, Terry; Fanshawe, John (2001). Field Guide to the Birds of East Africa: Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi. Elsevier Science. ISBN 978-0-85661-079-0.
  13. ^ a b c d Hauber, Mark E. (1 August 2014). The Book of Eggs: A Life-Size Guide to the Eggs of Six Hundred of the World's Bird Species. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. p. 132. ISBN 978-0-226-05781-1.
  14. ^ a b Grémillet, D.; Argentin, G.; Schulte, B.; Culik, B. M. (2008). "Flexible foraging techniques in breeding cormorants Phalacrocorax carbo and shags Phalacrocorax aristotelis: benthic or pelagic feeding?". Ibis. 140 (1): 113–119. doi:10.1111/j.1474-919X.1998.tb04547.x. ISSN 0019-1019.
  15. ^ Čech M., Čech P., Kubečka J., Prchalová M., Draštík V. (2008). "Size selectivity in summer and winter diets of great cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo): Does it reflect season-dependent difference in foraging efficiency?". Waterbirds. 31 (3): 438–447. doi:10.1675/1524-4695-31.3.438. JSTOR 25148353.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  16. ^ Čech M., Vejřík L. (2011). "Winter diet of great cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo) on the River Vltava: estimate of size and species composition and potential for fish stock losses". Folia Zoologica. 60 (2): 129–142. doi:10.25225/fozo.v60.i2.a7.2011.
  17. ^ "Cormorants in the western Palearctic, Distribution and numbers on a wider European scale" (PDF). Wetland International Cormorant Research Group. Archived from the original (PDF) on 7 June 2011.
  18. ^ "Workshop on a European Cormorant management Plan, 20–21 November 2007" (PDF). EIFAC, European Inland Fisheries Advisory Commission.
  19. ^ "European Parliament resolution". 4 December 2008. on the adoption of a European Cormorant Management Plan to minimise the increasing impact of cormorants on fish stocks, fishing and aquaculture
  20. ^ "Reducing the conflict between Cormorants and fisheries on a pan-European scale" (PDF). Final Report. REDCAFE. p. 12. Around 10,000 adult Cormorants (of the ‘Atlantic’ carbo race) are hunted legally as game in Norway outside the breeding season.

Further reading

  • Sibley, C.G.; Monroe, B.L. (1990). Distribution and taxonomy of birds of the world. New Haven CT: Yale University Press.
  • Sinclair, Ian; Hockey, Phil; Tarboton, Warwick (2002). SASOL Birds of Southern Africa. Struik. ISBN 1-86872-721-1.
Separation of carbo and sinensis
  • Newson, Stuart; Ekins, Graham; Hughes, Baz; Russell, Ian; Sellers, Robin (2005). "Separation of North Atlantic and Continental Cormorants". Birding World. 18 (3): 107–111.
  • MIllington, Richard (2005). "Identification of North Atlantic and Continental Cormorants". Birding World. 18 (3): 112–123.
  • Murray, T and Cabot, D. (2015). The Breeding Status of Great Cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo carbo) in Co. Wexford. Ir. Nat. J. 34: 89-94.

External links


Phalacrocoracidae is a family of approximately 40 species of aquatic birds commonly known as cormorants and shags. Several different classifications of the family have been proposed recently, and the number of genera is disputed. The great cormorant (P. carbo) and the common shag (P. aristotelis) are the only two species of the family commonly encountered on the British Isles, and "cormorant" and "shag" appellations have been later assigned to different species in the family somewhat haphazardly.

Cormorants and shags are medium-to-large birds, with body weight in the range of 0.35–5 kilograms (0.77–11.02 lb) and wing span of 45–100 centimetres (18–39 in). The majority of species have dark feathers. The bill is long, thin and hooked. Their feet have webbing between all four toes. All species are fish-eaters, catching the prey by diving from the surface. They are excellent divers, and under water they propel themselves with their feet with help from their wings; some cormorant species have been found to dive as deep as 45 metres (150 ft). They have relatively short wings due to their need for economical movement underwater, and consequently have the highest flight costs of any flying bird.Cormorants nest in colonies around the shore, on trees, islets or cliffs. They are coastal rather than oceanic birds, and some have colonised inland waters – indeed, the original ancestor of cormorants seems to have been a fresh-water bird. They range around the world, except for the central Pacific islands.

Cormorant culling

Cormorant culling is the intentional killing of cormorants by humans for the purposes of wildlife management. It has been practiced for centuries, with supporters of culling generally arising from the angling community. Culling techniques may involve the killing of birds, the destruction of eggs or both. Historically, culls have occurred to protect the interests of recreational and commercial fishermen who perceive the animals to be competing with them for their intended catch or for the prey of their intended catch. Since the 1960s, the growing aquaculture industry has undertaken cormorant culls to protect its farmed fish and crustacean stocks. Opponents of cormorant culling include conservation groups such as the National Audubon Society, Cormorant Defenders International and Sea Shepherd.

European perch

Perca fluviatilis, commonly known as the common perch, European perch, redfin perch, big-scaled redfin, English perch, Eurasian perch, Eurasian river perch or in Anglophone parts of Europe, simply the perch, is a predatory species of perch found in Europe and northern Asia. The species is a popular quarry for anglers, and has been widely introduced beyond its native area, into Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa. They have caused substantial damage to native fish populations in Australia and have been proclaimed a noxious species in New South Wales.

European shag

The European shag or common shag (Phalacrocorax aristotelis) is a species of cormorant. It breeds around the rocky coasts of western and southern Europe, southwest Asia and north Africa, mainly wintering in its breeding range except for the northernmost birds. In Britain this seabird is usually referred to as simply the shag. The scientific genus name is Latinised Ancient Greek, from φαλακρός (phalakros, "bald") and κόραξ (korax, "raven"). The species name aristotelis commemorates the Greek philosopher Aristotle.

Indian cormorant

The Indian cormorant or Indian shag (Phalacrocorax fuscicollis) is a member of the cormorant family. It is found mainly along the inland waters of the Indian Subcontinent but extending west to Sind and east to Thailand and Cambodia. It is a gregarious species that can be easily distinguished from the similar sized little cormorant by its blue eye, small head with a sloping forehead and a long narrow bill ending in a hooked tip.

Jan P. Strijbos

Jan Pieter "Jan P." Strijbos (March 14, 1891 – May 10, 1983) was a Dutch naturalist, cineast, photographer, journalist, writer and public speaker of the nature (and birds in particular) protection movement.

Strijbos grew up in Haarlem and initially worked as an architectural engineer. He became more and more interested in birds and chose to start publishing on the subject in 1927. Daily newspapers such as Het Parool and De Telegraaf frequently reserved space for his popular columns. His first major work was the first part of What's that bird called (Dutch: Hoe heet die vogel?), followed by part two in 1930. He also wrote a richly illustrated book on the breeding of the grey heron before becoming involved in photography. His most notable achievement in that field was the material he created in the pre-war great cormorant colony in Lekkerkerk. He also created visual material for the promotion of his cause, which he mainly used for his lectures. His friend and Nobel prize winning ethologist Niko Tinbergen characterised him in a preface he has written for Strijbos' 1956 book about South Africa as follows: "(...) the tramp, the carefree enjoyer, the admirer, the minstrel, and the ambassadeur of all things living, the witty conversationalist".

Kawau Island

"Kawau" redirects here. For other uses see Te Kawau, Jason Kawau, and great cormorant.Kawau Island is in the Hauraki Gulf, close to the north-eastern coast of the North Island of New Zealand. At its closest point it lies 1.4 km (0.87 mi) off the coast of the North Auckland Peninsula, just south of Tawharanui Peninsula, and about 8 km (5.0 mi) by sea journey from Sandspit Wharf, and shelters Kawau Bay to the north-east of Warkworth. It is 40 km (25 mi) north of Auckland. Mansion House in the Kawau Island Historic Reserve is an important historic tourist attraction. Almost every property on the Island relies on direct access to the sea. There are only two short roads serving settlements at Schoolhouse Bay and South Cove, and most people have private wharves for access to their front door steps.

The island is named after the Māori word for the shag (cormorant) bird.A regular ferry service operates to the island from Sandspit Wharf on the mainland, as do water taxi services.

Khandoli Dam

Khandoli Dam (Hindi: खंडोली डैम) is a dam located 10 km North-East of Giridih town towards Bengabad in Jharkhand, India. Khandoli is also a village at the foot of the Khandoli hill. The reservoir of the Khandoli dam provides water supply to more than one lakh residents of the Giridih town. It is an important tourist spot in the state of Jharkhand.

List of birds of Islamabad

This is a list of birds found in Islamabad, Pakistan. Seventy-two species of birds have been found in this area. The best places to watch are Margalla Hills and Rawal Lake.

Little grebe, Tachybaptus ruficollis

Little cormorant, Microcarbo niger

Great cormorant, Phalacrocorax carbo

Black-crowned night heron, Nycticorax nycticorax

Indian pond heron (Paddybird), Ardeola grayii

Cattle egret, Bubulcus ibis

Little egret, Egretta garzetta

Intermediate egret, Egretta intermedia

Grey heron, Ardea cinerea

Purple heron, Ardea purpurea

Common teal, Anas crecca

Black kite, Milvus migrans

Shikra, Accipiter badius

Long-legged buzzard, Buteo rufinus

Eurasian kestrel, Falco tinnunculus

Grey francolin, Francolinus pondicerianus

Common quail, Coturnix coturnix

Brown waterhen, Amaurornis akool

White-breasted waterhen, Amaurornis phoenicurus

Moorhen, Gallinula chloropus

Eurasian coot, Fulica atra

Red-wattled lapwing, Hoplopterus indicus

Common sandpiper, Actitis hypoleucos

Black-headed gull, Larus ridibundus

Feral pigeon, Columba livia

Wood pigeon, Columba palumbus

Collared dove, Streptopelia decaocto

Palm dove, Spilopelia senegalensis

Spotted dove, Spilopelia chinensis

Rose-ringed parakeet, Psittacula krameri

Common koel, Eudynamys scolopacea

Greater coucal, Centropus sinensis

House swift, Apus affinis

White-throated kingfisher, Halcyon smyrnensis

Pied kingfisher, Ceryle rudis

Hoopoe, Upupa epops

Lesser golden-backed woodpecker, Dinopium benghalense

Brown-fronted woodpecker, Dendrocopos auriceps

Crested lark, Galerida cristata

Small skylark, Alauda gulgula

Brown-throated sand martin, Riparia paludicola

Pale sand martin, Riparia diluta

Barn swallow, Hirundo rustica

Red-rumped swallow, Hirundo daurica

Paddyfield pipit, Anthus rufulus

Grey wagtail, Motacilla cinerea

White wagtail, Motacilla alba

Large pied wagtail, Motacilla maderaspatensis

Himalayan bulbul, Pycnonotus leucogenys

Red-vented bulbul, Pycnonotus cafer

Dark-grey bushchat, Saxicola ferrea

Blue rock thrush, Monticola solitarius

Blue whistling thrush, Myophonus caeruleus

Fan-tailed warbler, Cisticola juncidis

Tawny prinia, Prinia inornata

Yellow-bellied prinia, Prinia flaviventris

Hume's leaf warbler, Phylloscopus humei

White-throated fantail, Rhipidura albicollis

Black-chinned babbler, Stachyris pyrrhops

Common babbler, Turdoides caudatus

Jungle babbler, Turdoides striatus

Great tit, Parus major

Bar-tailed treecreeper, Certhia himalayana

Oriental white-eye, Zosterops palpebrosus

Rufous-backed shrike, Lanius schach

Black drongo, Dicrurus macrocercus

House crow, Corvus splendens

Brahminy starling, Sturnus pagodarum

Common myna, Acridotheres tristis

Bank myna, Acridotheres ginginianus

House sparrow, Passer domesticus

Alexandrine parakeet, Psittacula eupatria

Green bee-eater, Merops orientalis

Rufous treepie, Dendrocitta vagabunda

Indian robin, Saxicoloides fulicatus

Muckle Green Holm

Muckle Green Holm is an uninhabited island in the North Isles of the Orkney archipelago in Scotland. It is roughly 28 hectares (0.11 sq mi) in extent and rises to 28 metres (92 ft) above sea level, the summit having a trig point. The literal meaning of the name is somewhat contradictory. 'Holm' is from the Old Norse holmr, meaning a small and rounded islet. 'Muckle' is Scots for 'big' or 'large' so it's a big small island. To the south lies Little Green Holm, and between the two is the Sound of Green Holms. Eastward is a strait called Fall of Warness between Muckle Green Holm and the much larger island of Eday. In these waters the European Marine Energy Centre have installed tidal power testing equipment.Muckle Green Holm has a great cormorant colony and a population of European otters.

Mullion Island

Mullion Island (Cornish: Enys Pryven, meaning worm island) is an uninhabited island on the eastern side of Mount's Bay, Cornwall, in the United Kingdom. It is approximately half a mile (0.8 km) offshore from Mullion Cove, 1 mile (1.6 km) in circumference and the highest point is 118 feet (36 m) above sea level. It forms part of the Lizard Peninsula Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and is within the Mullion Cliff to Predannack Cliff Site of Special Scientific Interest.The island was formed 350 million years ago, in a fashion similar to the mid-Atlantic ridge today, where lava flows from a split in the earth's crust, and cools rapidly to form large lumps known as pillow lava. Mullion Island was formed by a separate (later) volcanic episode than the nearby Lizard complex rocks. The soil is highly manured by bird droppings, rich in nitrogen and phosphate, and sea beet (Beta vulgaris subsp maritima) and tree mallow (Lavatera arborea) are the dominant plants. Great black-backed gull (Larus marinus) breed on the island, along with common guillemot (Uria aalge), Eurasian oystercatcher (Haematopus ostralegus) and possibly razorbill (Alca torda). European shag (Phalacrocorax aristotelis) and great cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo) were also on the island during a visit by West Cornwall Ringing Group on 16 June 2015.Before the First World War the Mullion pilchard seine companies posted a huer (a lookout) on the island to watch for the dark patch of a nearby shoal of pilchards. The island was previously owned by the Lords Robartes of Lanhydrock who sold it to the Meyer family during the 1920s. The Meyers gave it to the National Trust in 1945.The island was used for location shots for the television serial And Then There Were None, based on a novel by Agatha Christie.

Patna Bird Sanctuary

Patna Bird Sanctuary is a protected area in Uttar Pradesh's Etah district encompassing a lentic lake that is an important wintering ground for migrating birds. It was founded in 1991 and covers an area of 1.09 km2 (0.42 sq mi). With a lake area of only 1 km2 (0.39 sq mi), it is the smallest bird sanctuary in Uttar Pradesh.

The water quality of the lake supports a wide range of avifauna during winter season. The entire lake area gets covered by profuse growth of macrophytic vegetation of water hyacinth and Potamogeton species during summers.

About 200,000 birds of 300 different bird species frequent the sanctuary. More than 106 species of migratory and resident birds are known to have their resting habitats around the lake. The important aquatic birds inhabiting lake are:

Lesser whistling-duck

Graylag goose

Comb duck

Ruddy shelduck


Eurasian wigeon

Indian spot-billed duck

Northern shoveler

Northern pintail

Green-winged teal

Common pochard

Ferruginous duck

Baer's pochard

Tufted duck

Indian peafowl

Common quail

Black francolin

Gray francolin

Little grebe

Asian openbill

Woolly-necked stork

Black-necked stork

Little cormorant

Great cormorant

Purple heron

Cattle egret

Indian pond-heron

Black-headed ibis

Red-naped ibis

Eurasian spoonbill

Black-shouldered kite

Egyptian vulture

Booted eagle

Bonelli's eagle


Black kite

Eurasian coot

Sarus crane

Black-winged stilt

Black-tailed godwit

Laughing dove

Greater coucal

Rose-ringed parakeet

Plum-headed parakeet

Long-tailed shrike

Black drongo

Rufous treepie

Ashy-crowned sparrow-lark

Bengal bushlark

Red-vented bulbul

Plain leaf warbler

Ashy prinia

Plain prinia

Common babbler

Oriental magpie-robin

Brahminy starling

Common myna

Bank myna

Purple sunbird

Indian silverbill

Scaly-breasted munia


Phalacrocorax is a genus of fish-eating birds in the cormorant family Phalacrocoracidae.

Pygmy cormorant

The pygmy cormorant (Microcarbo pygmaeus) is a member of the Phalacrocoracidae (cormorant) family of seabirds. It breeds in south-eastern Europe and south-western Asia. It is partially migratory, with northern populations wintering further south, mostly within its breeding range. It is a rare migrant to western Europe.

Seal Island National Wildlife Refuge

Seal Island National Wildlife Refuge is a 1-mile long (1.6 km) island off the coast of Maine near Matinicus Island that is part of the Maine Coastal Islands National Wildlife Refuge. It is home to colonies of many types of seabirds, including Atlantic puffins, great cormorants, double-crested cormorant Arctic terns, common terns, Razorbills, Leaches petrel, Eider, and Black guillemots.

Seal Island is the last refuge for the dwindling great cormorant population in the Gulf of Maine,@35 pairs in 2018.

During the Cold War, the island was used as a gunnery range and bombing test site for the U.S. Navy. Unexploded ordnance remain on the island, though some were detonated by a fire in the late 1970s. The ordnance presents no real danger to refuge staff or interns

A policy of eliminating predatory gulls preceded the recolonization of the island by a large mixed band of Arctic and Common terns. During any given summer season, over 100 species of birds are observed by researchers on the island.

Seal Island NWR has a surface area of 65 acres (26 ha). It is part of the Town of Vinalhaven.

Socotra cormorant

The Socotra cormorant (Phalacrocorax nigrogularis) is a threatened species of cormorant that is endemic to the Persian Gulf and the south-east coast of the Arabian Peninsula. It is also sometimes known as the Socotran cormorant or, more rarely, as the Socotra shag. Individuals occasionally migrate as far west as the Red Sea coast. Despite its name, it was only confirmed in 2005 that it breeds on the Socotra islands in the Indian Ocean.The Socotra cormorant is an almost entirely blackish bird with a total length of about 80 centimetres (31 in). In breeding condition, its forecrown has a purplish gloss and its upperparts have a slaty-green tinge, there are a few white plumes around the eye and neck and a few white streaks at the rump. Its legs and feet are black and its gular skin blackish. All these deviations from pure black are less marked outside the breeding season.

There is little information on this species' foraging or diet. Like all cormorants its dives for its food. Older reports suggest that it can stay submerged for up to 3 minutes, which is high for a cormorant and suggests that it would be capable of deep diving. However, there are also reports of foraging in flocks, and this is more usually seen in cormorants that feed in mid-water.

The birds are highly gregarious, with roosting flocks of 250,000 having been reported, and flocks of up to 25,000 at sea.

Some authors, such as Paul Johnsgard, place this species, along with a number of other related cormorants, in a genus Leucocarbo.

Since 2000, this species has been listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List, on the grounds of its small number of breeding localities and ongoing rapid decline. The decline is caused by coastal development, disturbance and marine pollution near its nesting colonies; in 2000 it was estimated that the world population was about 110,000 breeding pairs or 330,000–500,000 individual birds. The only protected nesting colony in the Persian Gulf is one of about 30,000 pairs on the Bahraini Hawar Islands off the coast of Qatar, and this is a Ramsar Convention listed site. Of the remaining 13 colonies (9 different locations), the Hawar colony is the largest. In the northern part of its range alone, about 12 colonies are known to have disappeared since the 1960s. The birds may also be affected by oil pollution at sea. During the First Gulf War, images of badly oiled cormorants from the Gulf were regularly shown in the western media, and although the great cormorant is also found in the Persian Gulf, it is likely that many of these were Socotra cormorants.

In 2012, the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD) monitored wild birds throughout Abu Dhabi at nearly 60 sites and recorded 420 species from 60 families. Nearly 12,000 breeding pairs of the globally threatened Socotra Cormorant were recorded at five to six small islands in the Emirate.

The Socotra cormorant is one of the species to which the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA) applies.


The order Suliformes (dubbed "Phalacrocoraciformes" by Christidis & Boles 2008) is an order recognised by the International Ornithologist's Union. In regard to the recent evidence that the traditional Pelecaniformes is polyphyletic, it has been suggested that the group be split up to reflect the true evolutionary relationships.


In zoological nomenclature, a trinomen (plural: trinomina), trinominal name, or ternary name, refers to the name of a subspecies. For example: "Gorilla gorilla gorilla" (Savage, 1847) for the western lowland gorilla (genus Gorilla, species western gorilla). Also, "Bison bison bison" (Linnaeus, 1758) for the plains bison (genus Bison, species American bison).

A trinomen is a name with three parts: generic name, specific name and subspecific name. The first two parts alone form the binomen or species name. All three names are typeset in italics, and only the first letter of the generic name is capitalised. No indicator of rank is included: in zoology, subspecies is the only rank below that of species. For example: "Buteo jamaicensis borealis is one of the subspecies of the red-tailed hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)."

In a taxonomic publication, a name is incomplete without an author citation and publication details. This indicates who published the name, in what publication, and the date of the publication.

For example: "Phalacrocorax carbo novaehollandiae (Stephens, 1826)" denotes a subspecies of the great cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo) introduced by James Francis Stephens in 1826 under the subspecies name novaehollandiae ("of New Holland").

If the generic and specific name have already been mentioned in the same paragraph, they are often abbreviated to initial letters. For example, one might write: "The great cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo has a distinct subspecies in Australasia, the black shag P. c. novaehollandiae".

While binomial nomenclature came into being and immediately gained widespread acceptance in the mid-18th century, it was not until the early 20th century that the current unified standard of trinominal nomenclature was agreed upon. This became the standard mainly because of tireless promotion by Elliott Coues – even though trinomina in the modern usage were pioneered in 1828 by Carl Friedrich Bruch and around 1850 was widely used especially by Hermann Schlegel and John Cassin. As late as the 1930s, the use of trinomina was not fully established in all fields of zoology. Thus, when referring especially European works of the preceding era, the nomenclature used is usually not in accord with contemporary standards.

White-breasted cormorant

The white-breasted cormorant (Phalacrocorax lucidus) is much like the widespread great cormorant and if not a regional variant of the same species, is at least very closely related. It is distinguished from other forms of the great cormorant by its white breast and by the fact that subpopulations are freshwater birds. Phalacrocorax lucidus is not to be confused with the smaller and very different endemic South Australian black-faced cormorant, which also is sometimes called the white-breasted cormorant.

Order: Suliformes (Phalacrocoraciformes)


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